News

At DuBois Middle, we appreciate our involved parents and community members. We also enjoy broadcasting our latest news and information here on our News page, where we will chronicle school activities and student achievements and publish announcements. We’ll also offer helpful resources and information. So check back often; we’ll update this page regularly.

Is My Child OK?

If you’re like most parents, it is very hard to not compare your child to the ones he plays with. Sometimes we wonder if our child is developing at the proper rate and may even question whether he is acting in an age-appropriate way. When your son is running around the playground throwing sand, you wonder why other children his age are making beautiful sand creations or sharing so nicely with other children. It can be hard to remember that every child has different skills, and it depends on what they’ve been growing up with. If a boy’s dad works in construction, he may learn how to hammer a nail into a board before he learns to write the letter “a” perfectly. Both of these skills take a very precise amount of fine motor skills, but because of what he’s been surrounded by, he has developed these skills at different times.

All children develop at different rates. Be careful when it comes to comparing your children. It is very important to know when there may or may not be a problem. Of course, girls vary from boys, so it is especially important to remember that they will develop their skills at different times. If you are wondering where your child should be developmentally, check out Medline Plus. Another good site is Parent Further, where you’ll find information on every age from newborn to eighteen years old. You’ll also find some great articles about raising socially and emotionally healthy children at Parenting Counts. Of course, you will always want to consult your child’s pediatrician if you have any questions regarding development.

We all want our children to grow up to be polite and healthy. Trust your instincts, and with a little help from pediatricians and other experienced parents, you can find the information you need to help your children be the best they can be.

Texting/Talking and Driving - A Deadly Epidemic

Technology, when used correctly, is a wonderful tool. Many of us have become so used to the fact that we can be in constant touch with businesses, clients, friends, and family, that the mere thought of not being able to immediately “reach out and touch someone” sends us into a panic.

However, more and more experts agree that texting and talking on a cell phone while driving has become a deadly epidemic. Many states have passed or are trying to pass legislature to make it illegal to text while driving.

Just as drinking alcohol and then jumping into the minivan to go pick up the kids is negligent, so is taking a quick call or glancing down at a text message. In fact, according to Distraction.Gov, text messaging is by far the most alarming distraction. There are three specific ways we are distracted while using our cell phones.

  • Visual—not keeping our eyes on the road and our surroundings
  • Manual—letting go of the wheel
  • Cognitive—losing focus on our driving

These distractions can and do result in lives being lost every day in America. The benefit or enjoyment from one call or one text is not worth the risk, so please put down the phone while driving.

The following suggestions can help us all fight the urge to pick up that phone:

  • Turn it off.
  • Put your phone in your purse or briefcase in the back seat (out of reach).
  •  Lock it in the trunk until you get to your destination.

If we stay off of our cells while driving, we have a much greater chance of reaching our destination safely. In the process, we set the tone by being a good example for our children and influencing their future driving habits. Let’s face it—our children are always watching us and learning more by what we do than by what we say.

Tooth Saving Tips for Trick-or-Treaters

This year, protect your child from one of the true horrors of Halloween - a cavity-filled dentist visit.

  1. Feed them cheese. It's high in calcium and re-mineralizes areas of early tooth decay. It also buffers-acids produced by oral bacteria, protecting teeth.
  2. Give them a healthy meal before trick-or-treating, so they'll have less room for candy.
  3. Have them drink water after eating sweets to help rinse sugar away from the teeth.
  4. Offer sugarless gum to keep saliva flowing and help rinse the teeth if they can't brush or floss after eating treats.
  5. Ask your dentist whether or not a prescription fluoride toothpaste is right for your child. It has a higher concentration of fluoride than over-the-counter brands.
  6. Set up a candy "bank" and offer a limited amount at a time. Freeze chocolates and candy bars, and store the rest in a sealed container.
  7. Many parents said that after letting kids indulge in some treats right after trick-or-treating, they limit their kids to a certain number of pieces each day or put the candy stash out of reach and out of sight. Then kids have to ask for it — that is, if they remember that it's there!
  8. Let kids know ahead of time the limits and reasons for those limits.
  9. Remind the kids that if they don't eat it all now, they'll have more for later. Encourage sharing the candy with friends. Not only does it thin out the candy supply, it enforces sharing.
  10. If a child is overweight or you'd just like to reduce the Halloween stash, consider buying back some or the remaining Halloween candy. This acknowledges that the candy belongs to the child and provides a treat in the form of a little spending money.

Remember that Halloween, like other holidays, is a single day on the calendar. If your family eats sensibly during the rest of the year, it will have a more lasting impact than a few days of overindulgence. Use your best judgment given what you know about your child's personality and eating habits.

How to Start the Day the Right Way

Morning is undoubtedly everyone’s least favorite part of the day. After all, the bed is warm and comfortable, that stupid alarm clock makes a dreadful sound, the eyes do not easily adjust to light, and the body’s melatonin levels, the hormone that controls the human circadian rhythm, take some time to drop down.

Mornings are especially difficult for teenagers and children who need more sleep than most people. According to kidshealth.org, school-age children and pre-teens need 10 to 12 hours of sleep a night, while teenagers need 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep each night (All About Sleep).

Here are some tips to start the day right for you and your kids:

  1. Set a firm bedtime for each of your children. Sure, it’s easier to set a general bedtime for the household, but if you have children of different ages, each one will need to go to bed at a different time. For example, if your eight-year-old needs to wake up at 7 a.m. his bedtime should be between 7 and 9 p.m. If your fifteen-year-old wakes up at 6:30 a.m. his bedtime should be between 9 and 10 p.m. You should be going to bed after your children because adults naturally need less sleep. This will allow you time to prepare for the next morning i.e., making lunches, planning breakfast, gathering/organizing school bags, picking out clothes, etc. (Tip: Set a bedtime for yourself too. It’s easier to get your kids out of bed in the morning when you have a good night’s rest.)
  2. Establish quiet hours before bedtime. This will help calm the children and bring a peaceful atmosphere into the home. It will also help if your children have different bedtimes because you won’t have to worry about your other children waking an early sleeper.
  3. Remove all electronics from the bedroom. Do not let your child go to sleep with the television on, and ask them to leave their cell phones and other PDAs in the living area. According to Jeanie Lerche Davis, author of “Good Sleep: Can It Still Be Simple?”, your body goes through four 90-minute stages throughout the night, and if your body goes through a couple of cycles each night, then you have had a good night’s sleep (Good Sleep). Electronics can disrupt a person’s sleep cycle and may never allow him to reach all four stages of sleep leaving him groggy and grumpy in the mornings.
  4. Wake up at least 30 minutes before your children. This time should be viewed as “alone” time for you, or you and your spouse, to prepare for the day. (Tip: You can use this time catching up on the news, preparing breakfast, making lunches, signing those endless school forms, or you can use this time to fulfill your physical, emotional, or spiritual needs such as practicing some yoga moves or simple stretching, writing in your journal or catching up on a friend’s blog, or reading the scriptures or performing other types of religious or spiritual practices.)
  5. Wake your children up in a very calm manner (the aforementioned should prepare you for that). Do not use the old water-in-the-face method (or any other shocking methods for that matter) of waking them up. This practice will only make their mornings even more dreadful.
  6. Always, always eat breakfast! And if you can, eat it together. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it can also become something your children look forward to when waking up. Of course, not everyone has time to make a gourmet breakfast each morning, but as long as you are putting something healthy and filling in your kid’s stomachs each morning then you’re golden. (Tip: An apple gives more energy to a person than a cup of coffee because it contains a sugar that releases slowly over time instead of as a quick jolt. Does an apple have more caffeine than coffee?)